Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste -or- I WAS ROBBED!!!

First, let me just try to post some screen captures from my account: Exibit A...My current (or "original") balance on my student loans. Fortunately I was able to consolidate them on June 28th (haha, kind of late) and my interest rate dropped from 6.54 to 4.75. Now mind you I'm still in school, so I don't pay on it now, but of course by consolidating, I opted out of my 6 month grace period. Yeah, nice...

So, as you can see to the left. I owe about 45000$. I was able to have some of the cost of my 60000 $ education paid for by grants, but because I was the only one willing to shoulder the burden for higher learning I will probably spend the rest of my life paying back debt. Ok, actually the next 36 years. Uh, WTF ?! Does it make any sense for me to be paying for my education until IM 60?!!!! Now, I don't have a problem paying for education, but I don't think people should have give and arm and a leg to do something more with their lives. Seriously, you have to start asking yourself if it's worth all that. For example, I have a friend who tends bar and makes easily between 500-800 weekly. Now, techinically I make close to that, but shes not working daily 9-6, she only works 3 or 4 days. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldve dropped the 500$ for bartending school and called it a day.

My education was costly. Was it worth it? Sure, yes. 45,000$ is a big number, but it's not insane. My potiental for growth is pretty decent. I fortunately have nothing to do with my money but pay bills (no family), so it's not THAT BAD, right?

Exibit B:
I'm an optimistic sort of girl, I really am. I'd like to believe one day my career choice will provide an opportunity for me to make 6 figures. Is it possible? Sure! Probable? Uh...I don't know if my annual salary will ever exceed 75k. Certainly not here in my lovely city. Perhaps it could get above that number if I moved and planned to work 20 years in the industry. Paying 45000$ until im 60 is disturbing. Paying 78000$ until im 60 is $&@#^!$( RIDICULOUS. I was reading this article on CNN Money. Basically, this generation is getting shafted. I don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life. Maybe I won't be eating ramen noodles anymore, but damn - is there really a way for us recent/future grads to be successful?

Upon receiving this horrible information about my loans, I searched the net for some consolation. Didn't really find any, but managed to score some helpful(?) hints.

How Not To Get Suckered Into OVERPAYING


The pitch "Pay us to search our vast database and win you a scholarship - and we'll apply for you!"

The truth Generally, you shouldn't have to pay to find or apply for any scholarship. Plenty of web sites have searchable databases that you can scour for scholarships and grants absolutely free.

Trusted sources


The pitch "From the U.S. government: Act by midnight or you'll miss out on consolidating your student loan at below-market rates."

The truth This isn't from Uncle Sam, it's from a marketer. Student loan rates do go up on July 1, however, so now's the time to consolidate. Also, rates are set by the government, not your consolidator.

Trusted sources


The pitch
"We'll submit your FAFSA for just $79.99 - don't worry about a thing."

The truth For starters, submitting a FAFSA is free - hello, it's called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This pitch likely came from a web site that had a URL suspiciously close to that of the official site, such as fafsa.com or fafsa.us.

Trusted sources


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